In this lecture performance, actress Sharon Frese explores the history and influence of the African diaspora in Singapore. She shares images and documents relating to slavery, colonialism, jazz and nationalist struggle, reaffirming the value of black culture in our shared heritage.
Both a history lesson and a theatrical ritual, Ayer Hitam commemorates the black men and women—enslaved, indentured and expatriate—who crossed the oceans into unknown territory. They draw strength from these tides, which Indian convicts called the “black water”—in Hindi “kala pani”, or in Malay “ayer hitam”.
This production is presented with support from Centre 42.